Bucs' defensive improvement has done wonders

At this point of the season, when every squad remaining in the state volleyball tournament has at least one or two excellent hitters, the factor on who advances or who goes home usually is decided by the performance of the defense.
Nate Thompson
Nov 13, 2012


Fortunately for Grand Haven, its defense has been stellar throughout its inspired run through the playoffs, including Thursday’s regional championship victory against Forest Hills Central.

In the three-game sweep of the Rangers that clinched the Bucs’ first-ever regional title, the team’s back-row specialists showcased their hustle by diving on the floor numerous times to keep balls alive, while the front row accounted for a stellar 12 blocks.

Grand Haven will need that type of production again in tonight’s Class A quarterfinal match against Grand Rapids Christian. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m., at Coopersville High School.

“It’s really been a big team effort,” said senior Lauren Hamberg, a defensive specialist. “We had some really big blocks in our last match. Abby (Cole) has of course dominated and ‘Teena (Krysteena Davis) has had some fabulous games. Everyone’s contributing for us.”

The complete team effort fits the mold of the team’s adopted motto, “One vision, One team,” which is broken down by senior libero Andrea Smith — another Buccaneer who prides herself on her scrappy back row play.

“We’re all talking, coming together, all moving to the ball at the same time,” she said. “It’s all one motion, with one voice saying the same things. We’re saying meaningful things about each other and the other team.”

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